Re: Strings newbie help?
- Considering the bow is an ancient weapon it is truly amazing how much physics goes into it's functioning. How many on this list have ever wondered how far they could throw an arrow? I know I couldn't throw one even 20 yards much less with any degree of accuracy. Thus when a bow is drawn the energy of the bent limbs is stored. Upon release of the string that energy is transferred to the arrow causing it to fly to the bulls eye - or at least that's what we hope! :-) ANYTHING added to the string or bow limbs takes away from the energy going to the arrow. Thus thicker strings, nock points, string silencers, servings all detract from the energy transferred to the arrow. Even things like end caps some folks put on their limb tips detracts. Again, basic physics, it takes energy to move these things, energy that does not go into the arrow.
Personally I like string silencers and nock points. I use Dacron B-50 on most of my bows as that is what's recommended by their maker. I have one Cold Mountain longbow that I use FastFlight strings on because, again, that's what the maker recommends. However, I will say one day shooting, I rather stupidly pulled the arrow nock off the string during the draw without knowing it, and fired the bow. Fortunately it did not break but it snapped off a sliver of the limb tip veneer. So "Don't dry fire your bow" means a great deal to me these days!
--- In SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com, Caterina Fortuna <cat4tuna@...> wrote:
> My lord has experimented some with modern materials, like certain types of
> fishing line, dacron, fast flight,...
> What this means it's some of his strings are very thin. So thin that I
> requested a thicker serving to keep my fingers from hurting. The thicker
> the bowstring the slower it responds. We check our arrow velocity at our
> local archery shop. This is helpful when tuning your bow...
> Serving (thread) comes in different thicknesses. You can also add an extra
> layer or two in the area where your fingers pull.
> We compromised by making a thin string with a thicker serving where my
> fingers pull.
- Your rule is simpler than mine. Mine has always been walking through
the following mention formula:
1. B-50 is rated at 50 lbs
2.1 However on an endless loop string, you have half as many at the ends
2.2 On a Flemish string, the 'weave' is only 50% as strong.
3. Therefore, you need to at least double it.
4. Now, multiply by 4 for a safety factor. Because, ummm, yeah. BE SAFE.
So that meant to me: 30# bow? means I need at least 2 strands, so I
make an 8 strand string.
80# combat crossbow? I'd need 4 strands. So I make a 16 strand string.
130# crossbow? I'd need 6 strands, so I make a 24 strand string.
... It's a lot more rough of math, and if I'm close to a limit (50, 100,
150), I'll add an extra bundle of 4. So a 50# bow gets 12 strand, 100#
crossbow gets 20 strand, and 150# crossbow gets 28.
On 7/3/13 3:06 AM, Bill Tait wrote:
> There is also a risk of making the string too thin, resulting in what is
> called a "critical" string. If it is too thin, it will not react the
> same from shot to shot. I played once with different string thicknesses
> and brace heights. The guideline for B-50 (Dacron) is 3-4 lbs (bow
> poundage) per strand. My 30# should have had 8 as a "thin" string. 6 was
> far too few :) It lasted 13 shots before letting go. Thankfully it
> didn't fail catastrophically, but rather the brace height dropped to
> just a few inches.
> PS: A good finger tab will keep your fingers from hurting, and will
> improve your consistency.
> William Arwemakere
> On Tue, Jul 2, 2013 at 11:52 PM, Caterina Fortuna <cat4tuna@...
> <mailto:cat4tuna@...>> wrote:
> My lord has experimented some with modern materials, like certain
> types of fishing line, dacron, fast flight,...
> What this means it's some of his strings are very thin. So thin that
> I requested a thicker serving to keep my fingers from hurting. The
> thicker the bowstring the slower it responds. We check our arrow
> velocity at our local archery shop. This is helpful when tuning your
> Serving (thread) comes in different thicknesses. You can also add an
> extra layer or two in the area where your fingers pull.
> We compromised by making a thin string with a thicker serving where
> my fingers pull.
Barun Siegfried Sebastian Faust, OP - Baron Highland Foorde - Atlantia
http://hf.atlantia.sca.org/ - http://crossbows.biz/ - http://eliw.com/
> Flemish Twist is atArgh! The dreaded string jig!
OK _I_ dread it.
I have enough STUFF already and this bulky item only does _one_ thing.
BTW, the infinitive of the verb for the twisting we do to make one of
these strings is "to twine".
"FLEMISH" BOWSTRINGS - WITHOUT THE JIG
All you need to make a bowstring is the string material, some beeswax,
the bow, a sharp knife (scissors will do if you aren't safe with a
knife), and two hands (though I know a kid who I bet can do this with
his only hand.)
Cut all your strands the same length; about a hand-span longer than the bow.
Cut enough strands for their total strength to equal four times the
poundage of the bow. This number is X. Make sure it's an even number,
have an extra instead of going short.
Make two bundles with equal numbers of strands.
Shift the strands in each bundle relative to each other, 1/8", 3/16",
It depends on the size and number of the strands and the sort of taper
Draw the strands over the wax in a group until you have wax enough on
them to keep them in order.
Add X/4 10" strands at one end of each bundle, these will strengthen the
Stagger their ends too.
Wax them in.
Lay the reinforced ends of the bundles next to each other with the
remaining strands headed in opposite directions.
(This is more awkward than having the bundles heading in the same
direction, but I'm more comfortable with the idea of the actual bundles
pulling _against_ each other. Same direction may be fine, but I don't
Twine the center until you have enough for the loop to slide partway
down the top of the bow.
Join the legs together, long with short, and twine about an inch past
the end of the last reinforcing strand.
Leave the strands straight (and _equally_ tensioned) until about four
inches above your expected nocking point. (Everything's going to
stretch, you may even have to re-twine this string once it has. It's a
Twine the bundles for an inch.
Add in a 12" or 14" strand by its center. Adding half of it to each bundle.
Twine about 1/4".
Add another such strand by its center.
Continue adding strands in this manner until you have achieved the
thickness required to fit the nocks of your arrows.
(Do a test beforehand so you know how many to cut.)
Twine about an inch past the end of the last reinforcing strand.
About 11" from the ends of the bundles, twine the bundles for an inch.
As with the nocking area, add in X/4 20" strands by their centers. These
will reinforce the area that will become the bowyer's knot or timber
hitch, your choice.
Twine until there's nothing left.
I often finish with the smallest figure-8 knot I can manage at the very tip.
Ta da! Bowstring!
One that you need not worry about untwisting.
I leave the straight parts as long as I can, a string that is entirely
twined is springy and less efficient than otherwise. And it's faster to
Make your major brace-height adjustments by altering the knot. When the
string has stretched (in the heat of the day (can we not talk about how
I know this)) you can make fine adjustments by twisting the string
tighter. And if need be, looser.
I have made strings in this manner _on_the_range_ at Pensic for myself
and for others. No jigs, just wax, string, and a knife. 30 to 45 minutes.
You can do it too.
Amaze your friends.
Fritz, Sagg, OL, etc.
P.S. I once watch Edward the Grey make a quick string in about 3
minutes. Two colors at that! It was heavy, but it worked.
- Share some Pictures next time you make one that way Fritz. It sounds interesting!
I have forgotten my jig when I was running an 'archery repair' night but found that one can make twisted loop flemish strings without it. We wrapped the strings around two chair backs to get the proper length (bow length + about 10 inches per end) and used scissors to nip 1/2 inches off creating that frayed end which allows the bundle to fade into the string rather than leave a clump.
It worked better than I thought and we had several loaner bows up and ready by that evening.
When teaching new string makers I give them a mnemonic that helps me remember which way I'm going. "Twist away, fold back."
I do advise new stringmakers to use two different colors. It's much easier to match which bundle is which when weaving the ends back in to form the loop and this is one thing that can make your string fail if you get it wrong......and they're pretty! Baronial or Kingdom colors if you're using the Dacron make a nice touch to your loaner gear. Black stays looking nicer than white due to the dust and stuff the wax picks up, but a red/white striped 'candycane' string is almost worth remaking occasionally for the kids.
Ladies can also use this twist for their hair with a long scarf. Split hair in half, drape scarf on neck, lean forward. Starting at the nape of the neck and working toward the temple on each side fold hair around scarf until the temple is reached. Now separate scarf from hair and 'Flemish Twist'. Twist the other side of the hair in reverse. Cross the two, Making sure the 'rope' is laid on the downhill side of the roll that's attached to your head. Wrap the finished 'ropes' around and tie them in the back. No pins are needed, if done properly it will last all day. It's great for keeping that lovely hair out of the way of your bow's string, is cool for summmer, makes a good foundation for a hat or something to pin your veil to without killing your scalp. Gentlemen need not wait for your maid to braid your locks for 3 hours as it can be done in 3 minutes or less with practice!